Field service organizations (FSOs) deal with a growing array of challenges that inspire digital transformation. Customer expectations and the level of competition have never been higher. Rising transportation costs, a persistently challenging recruiting environment, and the demand for shorter response times have fueled the digital transformation in field service movement.
Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of an operation, fundamentally changing how businesses operate and deliver value to customers. The trend began with the introduction of business computers in the last half of the 20th century, and it continues to accelerate. Today's technology solutions go far beyond servers and desktop computers. They provide machine learning for manufacturing, new communication channels, information pouring in from IoT devices, and other new innovations that increase the pace of business and create better customer experiences.
Field service apps are vital to technology initiatives aimed at improving service, reducing costs, accelerating response times, increasing first-time fix rates, and even enabling predictive maintenance for smart appliances. More and more, FSOs rely on field service management apps to improve customer communication, optimize scheduling and routing, and more effectively manage a blended field workforce consisting of both employees and contractors.
What is a field service app?
A field service app is a mobile application that provides field service technicians with real-time access to tools, information, and communication on the go. These applications are designed to ensure productivity and efficiency from all employees. Field service apps provide a wide number of critical functions, including work order scheduling and management, parts and inventory management, mapping and location services, and customer engagement tools.
Why are field service mobile apps mission-critical?
For FSOs, the workplace is everywhere. Field service apps need to be capable wherever customers need service — making them an essential tool for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), building technologies companies, appliance warranty administrators, and retailers offering delivery and installation.
FSOs increasingly evaluate new technology and ask themselves how tools like field service apps can help them automate to reduce errors and increase efficiency. Failing to deploy transformative technology means falling behind the competition and not providing customers the service level they seek. It is undeniable that tech helps companies perform better, grow more, and innovate faster. Today, one of the most important areas where companies benefit from digital transformation is with mobile devices and apps.
How does a field service app transform an operation?
Field service apps accelerate communication—eliminating paperwork and increasing transparency throughout the FSO. By giving field personnel access to a wide variety of critical information sources, databases, and workflows, a field service app prepares them better for customer engagement, ensures on-time arrival, and makes the entire workforce easier to manage.
Enhanced Customer Experience
A field service app enhances the customer experience by giving remote workers full access to customer records in the field. Headquarters has complete awareness of what is happening in the field. Customer records can include everything from work orders to ordering history to contact information, so workers go in the field with a 360-degree view of the customer—always knowing who they are talking to, and why.
With a field service app, information flows in both directions. While field personnel access and update vital information, field service apps with the right automated features can continually optimize schedules and routes. The mobile field service app is used to update status or submit customer signatures digitally, instantly making all of this information available to customers via their portal. This gives customers a sense of control. Field service reps don’t need to head back to the office to pick up and drop off old-fashioned paper forms.
Improve Operational Efficiencies
With a field service app, FSOs can improve operational efficiencies in several innovative ways. By providing essential information in a timely manner, field service workers will not spend time hunting for errant paperwork. Access to digitized files means that workers can find the information they need when they need it.
By integrating mapping and location capabilities, a field service app can cut down on travel time and return trips by helping workers in the field know exactly where they are supposed to be and how to get there efficiently. In addition, it enhances the customer service experience by showing in the portal the field service worker’s location for the customer.
Digital data entry in a field service app allows for processes to be completed in just a few clicks instead of with multiple paper forms. Digital data entry means better error checking and faster turnaround. Field service workers are more productive, and clients see results faster.
Seamless Blended Workforce Management
Field service management apps optimize workflows across the entire workforce. By enabling access to real-time data and intelligent route optimization, managers enable their blended field workforce to focus on delivering efficient, high-quality service.
They can also help to automate business rules. This improves overall workforce performance, resulting in higher capacity and usage. In addition, a field service management app provides greater visibility into performance across the entire blended workforce, helping to improve service delivery.
To remain competitive, FSOs need to provide critical field service app capabilities to field representatives. Investing in the right technology provides each customer with a better experience while also laying the foundation for the operation to scale. From enhancing the customer service experience to managing a blended workforce, a field service app is a critical component of digital transformation for the FSO. These apps truly streamline the field service management process and allow for vital data to be easily distributed in a convenient and transformative way.
Discover how ServicePower’s field service management app can transform your FSO by requesting a demo today.